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The Pension Trustees Handbook

Pension trustees face a maze of legislation and regulations as never before. The need for expert, accessible advice has never been greater.


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Regulation, regulation and more regulation. The regulatory landscape for pensions continues to become ever more complex. The most significant change in more than a decade has just started. Auto-enrolment, which is designed to cover people having no access to a workplace pension scheme, will bring millions of workers into a pension. Many for the first time.

Equally, investments are proving an intractable issue for trustees. They need to move into return-seeking assets (such as shares) to try and improve the returns for their members. At the same time, the regulator has become less tolerant of short-term asset price volatility and is encouraging them to move into fixed-interest investments. Only time will tell how this will play out.

Being a trustee therefore continues to be both an interesting and demanding job. Trustees need to have an appropriate level of knowledge and understanding (TKU). Many will attend training courses to get their TKU and other formal qualifications through professional bodies such as the Pensions Management Institute (PMI).

Against this background, Aberdeen is delighted to support this latest edition of Robin Ellison’s definitive handbook, which provides trustees with a practical guide to navigate their way around the legislative landscape. Aberdeen also runs an independent, CPD accredited, industry-wide thought leadership seminar programme to support trustees as they grapple with the challenges ahead. Please contact me if you would like to join our Pensions Intelligence programme.

Dominic Delaforce
Head of UK Pension Funds Aberdeen Asset Management

The Pension Trustee’s Handbook offers you 5 key advantages:

  1. Contains no legalese or jargon
  2. Shows you how to anticipate problems
  3. Provides practical advice on what you need to do
  4. Ends each chapter with a summary of key points
  5. Includes case studies, checklists and useful addresses



Part I: Trusteeship in law

  • Introduction
  • Why have a trust?
  • Taking office
  • What scheme have I got?
  • The paperwork
  • Governance
  • Investing the assets
  • Communications: providing information
  • Paying benefits
  • Taking advice
  • Trustees and employers
  • Protecting yourself
  • Trustee knowledge, understanding and training

Part II: Trusteeship in practice

  • Regulation
  • Funding: the statutory funding objective, surpluses and deficits
  • Benefits: administration and changes
  • Trade Unions
  • State pensions
  • Equal treatment
  • Early leavers
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Risk, risk management, derisking: buy-outs, buy-ins, incentives
  • Winding-up the scheme
  • When your employer goes bust
  • Members’ rights
  • Giving advice
  • Disputes
  • Tax

Part III: Resources

  • FAQs
  • Addresses
  • Further reading
  • TKU for trustees
  • Abbreviations
  • Pensionspedia
  • Websites


Endorsed by The Pensions Management Institute

The Pension Trustee’s Handbook 7th edition has been endorsed by the Pensions Management Institute, the professional body for those working in the field of pensions and employee benefits.

For further details on trustee innovations and awards, go to the The Pensions Management Institute website.

Praise for previous editions

Scores very highly… mandatory education for your trustee board.’

Pensions Today

Immensely reassuring… clear and practical.’

Benefits and Compensation International

A very useful book – one for the shelves of all pension trustees.’

Personnel Today

Very straightforward and accessible … this is a useful and practical primer for trustees.’

Pensions News

The sponsor

Aberdeen Asset Management PLC is a global investment management group, managing assets for both institutional and retail clients from offices around the world.

Our mission is to deliver strong fund performance across diverse asset classes in which we believe we have a sustainable competitive edge.

For further details about Aberdeen Asset Management visit the web site HERE website.


Robin Ellison

Robin Ellison is Head of Strategy, Pensions at UK law firm Pinsent Masons. He is a member of the CBI Pensions Panel and a trustee of several pension funds, both as independent trustee and as chairman. He also practices as a commercial mediator.

He is the author of numerous books on pensions including The Pension Trustee’s Handbook (Thorogood Publishing) and editor of Pensions Benefits Law Reports. He is Chairman of the NAPF and Visiting Professor in Pensions Law and Economics at Cass Business School, City University London.

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